It’s September and it is the perfect time to make jam and preserve it until Christmas. In four months you will have the best preserves ready for all the desserts you need to make during the holiday season.
What kind of container to use: Now the most crucial part of jam making is finding the perfect container to store it in. I would recommend using an airtight glass jar with a wide mouth so that it is easy to clean. It is important that the container is free from any chips or cracks that would prevent an airtight seal. Make sure you wash the jars, lids and the rubber with soap and hot water. If you are going to reuse the jars I would recommend changing the rubbers as it prevents from any contamination. Before you store the jams make sure that the jars are clean and dry.
Selecting the right fruits: Fruits have to be just ripe and fresh free from any bruises and should not be wilted or over-ripe. Always wash the fruits in cold water. Fruits like apples and pears should be cut and soaked in water with a spoon of salt to prevent discoloring. Fruits can be preserved in water or syrup, however fruits bottled in syrup have a better flavour. Add sugar to fruits only once the fruit has come to a boil.
I have put together a few recipes that I have tried with just four ingredients or less. P.S.- water isn’t included as an ingredient.
Grapes, sugar, water.
Stem and wash grapes and press pulp from skin. Place pulp and skins in two different sauce pans. Add a little water to the skins, cover and cook until tender. Cook the pulp until it is tender then strain to remove seeds. Add skins and measure, for every 2 cups of pulp add 1 cup of sugar. Cook until the sugar is dissolved and the consistency is thick. Cool, bottle and label.
1/2 kg oranges, 250 grams lemons, 3 litres water , 3 kgs sugar
Cut the fruit, extract juice and keep in the refrigerator. Shred the skins, add cold water and simmer for 2 hours. Add sugar and keep stirring until the sugar dissolves and keep overnight. The next day return it to heat, add the juice, boil for around 40-45 mins until it jells. Cool, bottle and label.
500 grams apples, 1.5 kg warmed sugar, 2/3 cups water
Slice apples and add water. Gently bring to a boil. Add warmed sugar and stir until dissolved. Boil until set. Cool, bottle and label.
1.5 kgs figs, 1.5 cup water, 1 cup white vinegar, 1.5 kg sugar.
Boil water. Scald the figs, wipe and cut off hard stems. Boil water, vinegar and sugar for 8-10 minutes to make syrup. Put the figs in whole and simmer slowly for 3-4 hours. Cool, bottle and label.
500 grams lemon, 7 cups hot water, 1.5 kg warmed sugar
Wash the lemons and slice thinly. Place in a bowl, add hot water and keep it overnight. Take off 3 cups of water and add 4 cups of fresh cold water. Place in a preserving pan and boil once. Cook for an hour until the rind is tender. Add warmed sugar and stir until dissolved. Cook quickly until the entire mixture jells together. Cool, bottle and label.
2.5 kgs cherries, 1.5 kg sugar, 1/3 cup water for every 500 gms of cherries.
Stone cherries, place in a pan with half kg sugar. Boil for about 20 minutes or until they are tender. Make sure they aren’t broken. Add the remaining sugar and boil fast for 45 minutes. Cool, bottle and seal.
375 grams of sugar for every 500 grams of strawberries.
Wash strawberries and weigh. Put into a china bowl with sugar and keep overnight. Next day boil for about an hour, briskly until the syrup thickens. Cool, bottle and label.
1 kg apples, 500 grams plums, 1 kg pears, 2 cups water, 11 cups sugar
Peel and core apples and de-seed plums. Put apple peel and cores and plum stones in a saucepan, cover with the water and simmer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile peel, core and cut the pears. Take cut apples and pears and mix in the sugar. Strain the juice from the plum stone and apple peelings. Bring to the boil stirring until the sugar dissolves. Continue until the consistency is right. Cool, bottle and label.
12 large bananas, 6 oranges, 4 lemons, sugar
Slice bananas making sure they don’t break. Add 375 grams of sugar to every 500 grams of sliced bananas. Add juice from the lemons and oranges. Boil slowly for 45 minutes. Cool, bottle and label.
Enjoy your homemade jams. Easy right. And don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients.